5 Truths You NEED to Know About Changes at WDW

Melissa RichesonBlog, News

It’s a fact of life: change is inevitable. And that’s never been more true at Walt Disney World than now. Park expansions, security additions, ride overhauls—it can be hard to keep up with all that’s going on at Walt Disney World.

With all the news (and hype) swirling around the internet and social media, what’s a Disney fan to believe? And how does one make vacation plans with so many changes on the horizon? Well, here are five facts that we think you need to know as you adjust to Walt Disney World’s current climate of change.

Changes at wdw include Pandora

Here’s the TRUTH about those Pandora lines. Photo by Brett Svenson.


Everyone everywhere is talking about the crazy lines at Animal Kingdom’s highly anticipated new section, Pandora – The World of AVATAR. You’ll read that the lines to get on the rides are up to five hours long, after you wait two or more hours just to gain entry into Pandora.

OK, people, here’s the truth. Those reports were made after opening weekend experiences. The reality now could be described as summertime, new-ride average. At time of writing, My Disney Experience puts the waits around 75-100 minutes for the two Pandora attractions. To put that in perspective, Peter Pan has a wait time of 90 minutes. So while you shouldn’t expect to walk onto the Pandora rides anytime soon, don’t be frightened away either.


In an ironic twist from the worries above, we’ve heard some websites caution that Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are now “half day parks”, meaning there’s not enough to do at these “smaller” parks to fill a whole day. We’d like to argue the contrary.

With the addition of Pandora, it’s pretty obvious that there’s plenty to occupy your time in Animal Kingdom. Plus, Animal Kingdom has added lots of new food and beverage options, the likes of which rival Epcot in both quantity and cuisine. And while Disney’s Hollywood Studios may have quite a bit shut down in anticipation of Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, there’s still a plethora of entertainment available.

Here’s the trick though: at DHS, you need to be prepared to schedule your time around shows. Those who claim “half day park” are probably concentrating only on rides (which, it’s true, there aren’t that many of) and forgetting about wonderful things like Beauty and the Beast Live, Disney Jr. Live, the Frozen Sing-Along, and more. In fact, I think my kids could spend more than an hour in the Star Wars Launch Bay alone.

changes at wdw include fastpass+

FastPass+ is one of the best changes at WDW. Photo by Judd Helms.


With new changes happening during the summertime, increased crowds are a guarantee at Disney World. That’s why it’s essential to utilize both FastPass+ and the Advanced Dining Reservation system. If you aren’t familiar with these systems, don’t worry!

Contact our Authorized Disney Vacation Planner friends at Destinations to Travel by clicking HERE.


If the modern #fakenews deluge hasn’t already clued you in, rumors abound on the internet. And rumors are just that: rumors. Until you confirm what you read as coming directly from corporate Walt Disney World sources, take it with a grain of salt.

Again, that’s where we at WDW Magazine come in. Because of our close connections and large team of reporters, we’re in a unique position to wade through the hype and give you the very best information possible. We’re dedicated to giving you first-rate facts and useful details to help you have the best vacation ever. As an alternative, the Disney Parks Blog is always a safe bet for direct, reliable Walt Disney World news.


Finally, remember that Disney doesn’t ever make changes lightly. Even if the changes don’t make sense to us fans at first (such as new security measures, limitations to established processes, doing away with old favorites), we have to trust they are all for a reason (possibly guest safety, better infrastructure, or stunning new experiences on the way). The Disney corporation is not known for snap decisions, and they ALWAYS have guest satisfaction in mind!

Change can be both exciting and hard, but with proper perspective and solid facts, we can be well equipped to handle change in any form at Walt Disney World. For more on WDW changes—both now and in the near future—check out our current edition of WDW Magazine.

By Melissa Richeson

For more on WDW changes—both now and in the near future—check out our current edition of WDW Magazine.


For more about changes and things coming soon to Walt Disney World , check out the July issue of WDW Magazine.


About the Author

Melissa Richeson

Melissa Richeson is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine. If Melissa were a Disney character, she’d be Belle, the book-loving, dreamy-eyed optimist. As a mom of four, Melissa knows that for most of us, bargain hunting must always go hand in hand with magical memories, and she’s always delighted to share a Disney tip (and a cup of limeade) with a friend. In addition to her insatiable love for Disney, Melissa also enjoys writing, paddle boarding, and throwing impromptu family dance parties.